Food

Sydney Fish Markets: Part 1 of the Foodie Triangle

When I tell visitors from abroad to put the Sydney Fish Markets on their itinerary, if not on their menu, they often regard me with suspicion as if I have suggested they wear eau de fish to an upmarket dining establishment. But once I explain that it is the first stop on our regular Foodie Triangle, their interest suddenly piques.

The Sydney Fish Market is a foodie’s delight. Set along tranquil waters overlooking the Anzac Bridge and Blackwattle Bay on the other side, it is a far cry from fish shops that assail your sense of smell the minute you enter them. The retail outlets are brightly-lit and the display of fresh fish and seafood inspires cooking from the simplest of dishes to the more elegant dinners.

Many retail shops offer takeaway seafood, either in cold platters or cooked on demand. These can be eaten indoors,

indoor seating
or at one of the tables by the water.

Outdoor seating

Alternatively, there is always Doyles at the Markets, the seafood restaurant of the same fame as Doyles at Watson’s Bay.
Doyles at the Markets

Our weekend foodie venture always starts at the Sydney Fish Market perusing favourite retailers, checking the best produce and comparing quality and price.

For the best range of oysters, we can’t go past Christie’s Seafoods. Not being a fan of the Sydney Rock Oyster, we are lured by their range of harvested oysters from all around Australia. There is always a line to buy them freshly chucked from the oyster bar. In the past, we were able to buy unopened oysters such as those from Coffin Bay and take them home to be eaten minutes after chucking them. Unfortunately, regulations have taken the pleasure out of the best way of eating an oyster and they can no longer be sold unopened to the public.
oyster chucking at Christie's

Eating an oyster that has been rinsed in water compared to one that is freshly-chucked is like comparing paté to foie gras! There is no comparison.
oysters from Christie's

With a vast choice of seafood on display, it is often difficult to make a choice. Fresh sashimi, sliced on request often competes with
sashimi bar
luscious prawns, cooked or raw, of different size and varieties such as the tiger prawns and banana prawns.
prawns

Cooked Rock Lobsters often tempt for that take-home lobster mornay to be enjoyed with a bottle of Champagne.
rock lobster

It is difficult to resist the pretty white scallops in their half shells,
scallops

or these colourful beauties lightly grilled with a beurre noisette.
scallops in half shell

Decisions… Decisions…
assortment of scallops

Maybe take home cooked Balmain bugs to accompany a favourite pasta,
Balmain bugs

or spanner crabs to be picked with the patience of a saint, while listening to some Jazz or alternative rock, depending on the mood of the crab picker.
spanner crabs

Occasionally, Alaskan King Crab legs rise tall from the ice
Alaskan crab legs

and fish appear as if they’re chasing other fish, like these Barbounia or goat fish (known as rouget in France), a tasty fish but with fine bones that make them difficult to eat.
barbounia

For those who don’t like the surprise of a bone in their fish, there are fillets like this monkfish or stargazer as it is known in New Zealand.
monkfish

Whole salmon and trout often tempt to be slow poached and served with a good dose of home-made aioli.
salmon

At times, the fish like to strike a pose for the camera.
modelling fish

and like these snappers, some even poke a tongue out.
snapper

Others like the Barramundi may even adopt romantic poses over ice.
barramundi

while live crustaceans get frisky like this feisty marron trying to escape from the Styrofoam box.
marron

Armed with a couple of dozen oysters from Christie’s, sashimi to complement the sake chilling in the fridge, a selection whole fish and fillets to be frozen and eaten later in the week, it is time to move on to the next stop of our Foodie Triangle.

Part 2 of The Foodie Triangle continues here.

Sydney Fish Market
Bank Street
Pyrmont, Sydney NSW

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

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